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Former Camper; Former Mouse House CEO

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Hey, Summer Campers!

Just as you all will be some day, lots of famous celebrities are former summer campers themselves. From movie stars to pop musicians, athletes and a slew of other folks who achieved fame in a number of different ways, today I’m talking about someone remains behind the scenes, but we all know him for his success as a billionaire in the entertainment industry, Michael Eisner. 

Though he’s now retired from the Mouse House as Disney’s CEO, Michael expanded upon the company’s enormous success for 21 years. But before he ever graced the Disney castle, he went to summer camp! He didn’t just go once or twice either. He went off time and time again. And once he was too old to be a camper, he continued going as a counselor, he loved it so!

He attended Camp Keewaydin in Salisbury, Vermont—a dedicated camp, committed to helping the youth achieve personal growth and independence by placing them in a rustic, natural environment. Michael’s summers at Keewaydin had an obviously great affect on his character as well as success as he attributes his success to his camp days in his biographical novel, ‘camp’.

Concentrated around his own journey  of growing up, Michael shares his stories from Keewaydin as well as stories from his life that wonderfully connect the influence of summer camp and how it touches so much of his life. Learn about how camp helped shape his character and read his indubitable endorsement for the institution of summer camp.

Michael did well in school, attending the Allen-Stevenson grade school in his hometown of Manhattan and then The Lawrenceville School in New Jersey. He completed his education at Denison University with a Bachelors in English.

After school, Michael got his foot in the door as an assistant at the television network NBC thanks to his father’s close friendship with the network CEO. He worked his way up the ladder at NBC and eventually moved to CBS and after, he was recruited to work at ABC. There, he climbed the ladder fast, ending his time there as the senior Vice President.

The same guy, Barry Diller, who brought Michael to ABC ended up taking him away too as he had left to become the chairman of Paramount Pictures and wanted Michael as president and CEO. When Barry left Paramount, Michael had every right to expect to take over Barry’s position as studio chief. The company passed on him, however, and he went off to look for work somewhere else.

That’s when he started lobbying for the position of The Walt Disney Company’s CEO. With all the experience he had under his belt, Disney was thrilled to bring him onboard. Bringing what they hailed as ‘The Disney Decade’, Michael oversaw such classic films as ‘The Little Mermaid’ and ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit?’. Check out his book right here and, as always, thanks for reading!


- John


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